Newsflash: Congratulations to Royal Natal Yacht Club for winning the Lipton Challenge Cup 2012 hosted in Simon’s Town by False Bay Yacht Club.

Background:  The Lipton Challenge Cup event will be held in the spectacular surroundings of False Bay, Cape between August 19 and 24, 2012.  Often referred to as the “jewel in the crown” of the South African yacht racing circuit, this iconic cup will be defended by last year’s victors, the False Bay Yacht Club Team INTASURE – sponsored by INTASURE Marine Insurance.  Members of 25 clubs from all over South Africa will be cheering on their finest sailors, hoping to welcome them back to their home club at the end of the event along with the treasured Lipton Cup as winners of this ultra-prestigious event.  The names of the yachts registered for the Lipton Cup as well as the skippers and their home clubs are listed in the article below.  The `home club ‘of  the 2012 winner has the privilege of hosting the next Lipton Challenge Cup at a location of their choice, usually their own “home” waters. This victorious team will then be known as the next years “Defenders”.

One hundred and four years ago the Lipton Cup was presented to the Table Bay Yacht Club (now the Royal Cape Yacht Club) by Sir Thomas Lipton – the famed international tea-trading magnate – in the hopes of encouraging yacht racing in South Africa.  The deed of gift conditions included that “any recognized yacht club that had headquarters between Walvis Bay and Beira could compete for the cup with one representative yacht which was to be not more than eight meters and not less than six according to international measurement”…

2012 marks the 50th Lipton Challenge Cup event after the competition was re-instituted after World War II.

During the ensuing centuries the glorious and prestigious Lipton Cup, now estimated at being replacement-valued at some R1.5 Million, has been admired by proud members of various clubs around South Africa.  Top winning clubs include Zeekoevlei Yacht Club, the Point Yacht Club, Royal Cape Yacht Club and the Royal Natal Yacht Club, among several notable others.

The contending boats have changed design as technology advanced and have evolved to enable competitive sailing at affordable prices. The current L26 designed by Angelo Lavranos has a fleet total of 85 yachts nationwide, and it has been confirmed that 25 of these one-design yachts will be competing in the 2012 Lipton Cup Challenge in False Bay during August.

Many of the top names in South African Sailing past and present are engraved on the plinth of this important trophy. Included here is local sailing icon Greg Davis who has won the trophy multiple times during the past decade, most recently while representing Knysna Yacht Club. The newest names to have been engraved on the trophy, however, are those of Andrea Giovannini and Markus Progli of Team INTASURE who won Lipton during 2011 off Mossel Bay while representing False Bay Yacht Club of Simonstown. This young team had come third and then second in the two previous Lipton Challenge Cup events during their upward ascent to the peak of the winner’s podium. 

Lipton 2012 to be held in Simonstown and co-hosted by False Bay Yacht Club and Defence Sailing Club of Simonstown promises to be a gala event.  The week-long competition will start with a “mixing of the waters” civil ceremony in Jubilee Square on the Saturday afternoon together with attendant “pomp and ceremony”.  There will be a welcoming function that evening for competitors and their support teams.  This will be followed by six days of racing out on the waters of False Bay where the crème de la crème of South Africa’s yachting community will pit their skills against one another in their efforts to take sailings major trophy and all the associated prestige back to their home club, wherever that may be – consistent with the wishes of Sir Thomas Lipton all those many years ago.

Members of the public are most welcome to visit the False Bay Yacht Club and its race headquarters facilities as sailing opens its doors to one and all during Lipton so that they can share in the excitement of this wondrous, historic event.

All entries have been received by the organizers  – the closing date having past – and in total spectators should witness some twenty-five yachts competing in the 2012 event. Add to this the judge, marshal, rescue, water police, naval and often countless spectator vessels Simons Bay will be replete with vessels and onlookers – a colourful time for one and all, that seems certain.


The following entries have been received:


Team INTASURE: Co-Skippers Andrea Giovannini & Markus Progli.

False Bay Yacht Club #007



Foster Wealth:  Skipper Bernard Farmer. Saldanha Bay Yacht Club # 082 

Team Escape:  Skipper: Rodney Tanner. Gordon’s Bay Yacht Club # 000

Choose Life Co-ordination:  Skipper: Richard Weddell. Point Yacht Club # 000

Kayo:  Co-Skippers: Dominique Provoyeur & Ken Venn. Langebaan Yacht Club # 019

Donna Mia:  Skipper: David Shilton. Defence Yacht Club – WP #033

Cape Columbine:  Skipper: Ashwin Daniels. Defence Yacht Club – Boland # 052

Blue Tango II:  Skipper Mark Goad. Defence Yacht Club – KZN # 063

Cape St Lucia:  Skipper Jonathan Cole. Defence Yacht Clun – PTA # 053

Orion B2G2:  Skipper: Ricky Robinson. Royal Natal Yacht Club # 079

Team ZVYC:  Skipper: Leroy Rudolf. Zeekoevlei Yacht Club # 000

Three Ships Whisky:  Skipper: Rick Nankin. Royal Cape Yacht Club # 024

Intasure Hooligan:  Skipper: Alan Lawrence. Fish Hoek Beach Sailing Club # 071

KYC Challenge:  Skipper: Rob Clark. Knysna Yacht Club # 066

JMK 11:  Skipper: Theo Yen. Hout Bay Yacht Club # 060

Southern Charter UCT Maverick:  Neil Malan & Oliver Hobson. UCTYC # 063

MBYC:  Skipper: Jan Reuvers. Mossel Bay Yacht Club # 041

JML/RCYC/LALIZAS:  Skipper: Murray Willcocks. Diocesan College Y C # 078

Orion:  Skipper: Richard Raath. Algoa Bay Yacht Club # 056

Bumbo:  Skipper: Randolph Verheij. Transvaal Yacht Club # 036

Envirobiz:  Co-Skippers: Tony Norris & Finn de Haan. Theewater Sports Club # 000

HMYC Colorpress:  Skipper: Craig Millar. Henley Midmar Yacht Club #031

Bandito:  Skipper: Judy Provoyeur. Imperial Yacht Club # 036

JML 11:  Skipper: William Whittaker. Milnerton Aquatic Club # 083

Welsh Witch:  Skipper: John Young. George Lakes Yacht Club # 003 


Footnote: Yachts with # 000 = sail numbers not yet confirmed

Best Spectator viewing points to watch the exciting Lipton Cup racing as it unfolds on False Bay during 19 to 24 August 2012.

For the ambience itself it would be a good idea to visit  Jubilee Square to witness the sailors bringing water from their home sailing locales and blending them ceremoniously in a commemorative receptacle.  A touching tradition in yachting circles worldwide. This will be followed by some pomp and ceremony and a welcoming party for competitors will complete the day. During the ensuing week of racing the False Bay Yacht and its environs will be open to the public who wish to avail themselves of this participating in this growing spectacle.

The actual courses and directions of sailing and races as such will be determined to a considerable extent by the prevailing winds and sea conditions.  As the southern season moves from Winter towards Spring many and varied weather conditions and patterns can be anticipated. For those really interested in watching the progress of the yachts 2012 has something new and unique to offer:  From the comfort of the False Bay Yacht Club Lipton Race headquarters spectators will be able to watch the race unfold via satellite tracking using the newest of technologies where the positions and tactics of the competing yachts will be able to be followed on giant television screens onshore – while the fleet of yachts “do battle” on the race course. Technology and history coming together all at once on our very own shores of Simon’s Bay.

 Where to best watch the race from? In terms of the optimum places from where to observe the spectacle of Lipton 2012 as the racing unfolds; the big decision will be whether to watch from the more horizontal aspect i.e. from the sea.  Alternatively, from the land with its elevation and expanded overall view.  With fair prevailing winds spectators may well be able to hope to witness brightly coloured sails close inshore between Simonstown and Glencairn close to the beach.  Another interesting option would be to drive up Red Hill and to enjoy the unique vista from “up top”. Spectacular on a clear day. For the more adventurous, a short hike up the paths leading towards Elsie’s Peak from the Glencairn Heights side of the valley will allow onlookers unprecedented views of the shoreline and horizon, small bays and white sand beaches and indeed, the full span of False Bay itself while infusing themselves with the best of what the Table Mountain National Park has to offer. And out there on the blue waters of False Bay the Defenders and Challengers of Lipton 2012 will be on the water “doing battle” for the honours of Lipton 2012.

The Lipton Cup Comes South  by Gerry Norris

 Photographic credits: John Leslie, Trevor Wilkins and Judy Elliott

For information about the history of the Lipton Challenge Cup go to: